Riven impressions: the power vs. kit conundrum

I’ve finally been able to get in enough games with Riven to write a proper impressions post. It seems the prevalent opinion is that she’s underpowered and needs a buff, but I think her problems are a little more complicated. I think Riven has a beastly kit, a kit strong enough that the smallest buffs could make her insanely overpowered. To me, Riven is a classic example of too many skills on one champion, even if she doesn’t hit that hard (I think she hits plenty hard, though).

Let’s break down her full set of skills at level 18. She has a three-part dash on a 12 second cooldown, an AoE stun on a 7 second cooldown, a dash/shield on a 7 second cooldown, and a damage steroid/ranged execute on a 45 second cooldown. That’s a pretty nasty kit if she can get farmed, which I’ve been able to do in several games.

One of the great things about Riven is her ability to weave stuns with her team. by getting to a fight early, she can dash -> stun to initiate, let her teammates use CC, and stun very quickly again. Unfortunately, she has to be very close to her target for that stun to land, and this is a recurring issue for her. Her ult’s active has the same problem, as does the third tick on her Broken Wings.

Riven also suffers from animation issues. After activating her stun, her next auto attack seems dramatically delayed. Her ultimate’s active has a massive delay on its cast, and the animations for Broken Wings are long enough that it’s easy to flip away from your target, especially if they’re moving. Add this all to the fact that Trinity Force doesn’t do her much good and Riven starts to look pretty weak.

As I mentioned above, though, I think she has an awesome kit. Frankly, if Jarvan and Irelia and Udyr and their Trinity Force friends didn’t have such ridiculous damage output, Riven would probably look pretty great. As it is, she’s totally reliant on attack damage for scaling, but because of her kit, her scaling can’t be very good.


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